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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Does a Christian go to heaven or to soul sleep after death?

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Joined: 2010/3/17
Posts: 3
United States

 Does a Christian go to heaven or to soul sleep after death?

I'm having a hard time answering this question due to the controversies that surrounds it so I would appreciate it if someone here can tell me the truth about this question without contradicting any verse in the Bible.

For example, Paul said the dead shall rise on judgement day while Jesus said to the sinner on the cross "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise". How can this sinner go to paradise the moment he died? I'm really confuse please help

jean cherubin

 2010/5/10 19:01Profile

Joined: 2008/9/2
Posts: 60

 Re: Does a Christian go to heaven or to soul sleep after death?

It is written by paul '' to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.'' When a believer dies his soul leaves his body. It is his body that will be raptured up " the dead in Christ shall rise first" scripture states. The believers which are alive and remain will also be raptured up but it is the bodies of the dead believers that will be raptured. When the believer dies he is present with the Lord. Some time later at the rapture his body will be resurrected and glorified.

Jerry Austin

 2010/5/10 19:47Profile

 Re: Does a Christian go to heaven or to soul sleep after death?

Hey Cheribum

I had a vision one time(I can see my conservative friends tightening up as they read this:) I was pondering the Scriptures........

"Act 1:9 And saying these things, as they watched, He was taken up. And a cloud received Him out of their sight.

Luk 24:51 And it happened as He blessed them, He withdrew from them and was carried up into Heaven.

In my vision I was watching Peter watch Jesus ascend into the cloud. Then suddenly I was in a crowd without number, they lined a path on either side. At the end of the path, there was God the Father, ic ould not see Him, I just knew He was there. Jesus was on a magnificent majestic looking white stallion. All the people were casting down crowns from their heads at the feet of the horse and the horse was moving very deliberately through the crown that were thrown down and the vast crowd cried "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty. And the Father cried out to all, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." And here is the unusual part(if that was not unusual enough:) Peter was in the crowd casting down his crown.

Does this mean anything? No. It was a glorious vision of Christ's triumphant return to heaven, thats what I took from it and I was greatly blessed. Let me throw this out there to ponder. Could it be, since time is only relevent here on earth and that Jesus stepped into time and space, He simply stepped back out into "eternity." We know that Peter lived at least another 20-30 years after Jesus died and arose, but could it be that since there is no time in heaven, those 30 years were irrelevent. Could it be that this is why that very day for the thief on the cross, He would be with the Lord, even although we know that the Lord was on the earth and interacting for a period of about 40 days before he "ascended."

Obviously the truth is that this is fine to ponder, but it is way beyond our pay-grade to know and understand the realtionship between time and space and eternity and heaven. The good thing to know is that we will be there with our Lord, soul sleep or Frank

 2010/5/11 0:39


I don't put any stock in visions like that (no offense, Frank :-))... but scripture does say: "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord".

Soul sleep is a lie most held onto by the Seventh Day Adventist cult, which also teaches that there is no hell.


 2010/5/11 7:58


This will not contradict scipture, but it will contradict our notions of the time/space continuum.

Having died--->(that's what getting your body pulled through a compact cars wheel-well and catapulted aprox. 40 feet, then after flopping like a quarter in trajectory, making a one point landing smaking the back of your head on asphalt- will do to you)<---and returned, (not that i ever wanted to live here again), i speak from experience.

this is not true for non- and unbelievers, cause i was not even concerned about looking beyond what happened around me.

There is an abyss that's crossed (...something about the valley of the shadow of death always is brought to mind when thinking about it). It starts like a whirling funnel, kind like a tornadoe, but you are entering it from it's topmost widest point.

The darkness becomes everything around you, and then i saw these circular-like-swirling ribbons in front of me, pristine bright.

What might phreak you out is you can see everydirection at once, and where you focus attention is what you observe.

Passing them, there is a being of bright light, whom i was trying to avoid like a plague. ("it ain't God folks"). It spoke sooo 'musically' that the most pleasant sensations were stirred up, but i just wanted to get by that 'thing'.

Ignoring what that thing said was very hard to do BTW, and i was just pushing and pressing to get by instead...

Then there is this pathway, like right in the middle of this garden paradise...and i am not allowed to talk about the rest, except from the POV that can shed some light.

Time and eternity are related but not the same. God dwells in the Highest Heaven beyond both of these things He created.

In dealing with humanity, God looks at everything from His eternal perspective: all things are happening at once. The past, present, and future are seen by Him as though if a cone were points of view, he is at the peak looking down.
The base of this cone is our perspective and we see things in concentricity:cycles, with both a beginning and an end. God is above looking at the full circle and we are each and all at the base of the circle, found at various points in to time continuum.<---(this is an oversimplification for illustrative purposes, a nmemonic device).

Anyway, from an earthbound perspective, from what is revealed in the scriptures, soul is not mind, will, and emotions, but the avenue by which these things become expressed through the body.

Soul is always spoken of in reference to the outward manifestation of inward activity, the phsical body being the outlet.

There is no such thing as soul sleep.

If it takes a body and the 'consciousness/spirit' given to make it breath, and thus become a living soul, what happens if that personal/individual life-force leaves the body?
(Wouldn't it be that there is no more living soul? Soul-life is, in the Bible, always in reference as the 'expresser'<--(='soul') through biological activities while on earth.

Nearing the end of Ecclesiastes we find a symbolic description of the passing of a human life. There also, if memory is correct (ch.9?), (not enough time right now to look it up), it speaks of all consciousness/inner man/life-force returns to God who gave it all in the first place (every living creature folks, not just humans).

So, to die, our body seperates from the 'inner man', and soul expression is no more... until the ressurection, when body is reunited with our 'consciousness/inner man/'spirit'.

In Hebrew, the word for the part that continues after death from man is called "neschamah". The word picture for it is "body of light". This part embodies a person's inner character, not the heart (perception/volition, but the part determining what you intend (will,volition) to do.

What most consider soul, man's avenue towards expression, is more often than not, today is recognized by feelings, attitudes and things related. The Hebrew word is Ruach, and it's picture is the whirlwind. (Passing through the abyss, "the valley of the shadow of death is the laying aside of this 'soul'/whirlwind.

In eternity, there is only: what was, is, and will be. Soul is irrelevant serving no purpose here.

(somebody really needs to look into that "to be absent with the body is to be present with the Lord" phrase, because inside a cringing comes every time it is used, kind like you know that you know when somebody is taking things out of context.

What is supposed to referee our considerations? Col. 3:15

To use that "present with the Lord" verse in the way it is used, (and a whole list of others come to mind) towards comforting feeelings, well it sooths the soul, but is that the peace of God? NO IT IS NOT!) i'm just not interested in blasting holes in soap bubble this morning as time to work is crowding in. Bubbles don't last anyway.

OK, where were we...

oh, and in conclusion...

no, that's not it....
let's see here....
*thrumming fingers on this desktop*
*eyes light up*

OK, the thing is this, when dealing with those who focus on things of earth, give them the temporal perspective, with all it's woe and foreboding as it is. That is all they know, and that will be as it is already true for them. (don't hesitate to tell them there is no peace for the wicked and that they are just good enough to go to hell.)

AS believers, because we should recognize we are already dwelling eternally (in Jesus Christ in His Faith(fulness)), we (though it is an effort to look at these things God's way) need to continually learn to look at things from God's perspective as our own.

A mind is a terrible thing to...
...and we better kill it before it hurts somebody...
no really:

Seeing things from God's perspective, is not considering mind or all the rationale' that goes with it a bad thing. It is just the lesser of two perspectives, meant to be adjunct to the greater: an eternal perspective in the Faith of God.

We all touch on it in varying degrees, but we all fall short of His ideal.

Keep looking down, you are seated in Heavenly places with Him. From the 'top of the cone' a different view and perspective grows strong within. It becomes more about what's going to last forever instead of what i gotta' do right now.

Well, what i gotta' do right now is go to work.
"MArta, Marta, you are..."
(You can laugh now, but i do take "the Better Thing(?)" with me, or is it me in Him? It happens both ways.


Trying to maintain
a cone's eye view,
Acts 20:32

"The kingdom then is not for weaklings, waverers, and compromisers... It is not for Balaam, the rich young ruler, Pilate, and Demas... It is not won by means of deferred prayers, unfulfilled promises, broken resolutions and hesitant testimonies. It is for strong and sturdy men like Joseph, Nathan, Elijah, Daniel, Mordecai, and Peter... Stephen... and Paul. And let us not forget such valiant women as Ruth, Deborah, Esther, and Lydia"
~William Hendrickson~

kurentlty uneddittid

 2010/5/11 8:48


Dont worry Krispy, I knew that :) you were not supposed to put any stock in it, merely ponder, if you like, on questions that can never truly be answered this side of eternity :)

PS Krispy, do not throw the baby out with the bath water, just because there are crazies out there, does not mean that God does not give His people visions and dreams for edification and exhortation (and they will never violate Scripture)

 2010/5/11 9:42


I treat visions like I do mushrooms. Some are poisoneous, some are good for you... I prefer to avoid both.


 2010/5/11 13:05

Joined: 2006/8/10
Posts: 550


I'd just like to point out a fact about the Greek of Luke 23:43. In Greek, there is no punctuation. Removing punctuation from the English translation renders the verse thus: Assuredly I say to you today you will be with Me in Paradise. This could be understood either as:
1) Assuredly I say to you .......... today you will be with Me in Paradise.
2) Assuredly I say to you today .......... you will be with Me in Paradise.

I think the point is moot since the Paradise He is referring to is Abraham's bosom ( the nice and pleasant part of Sheol) in the heart of the Earth. See the story of the rich man and Lazarus. So yes, both Jesus and the penitent thief were both taken there to Paradise (not Heaven) that very day.

 2010/5/11 13:56Profile


" I prefer to avoid both."

I know you do brother :) If I used the same logic as you have expressed, I would never love anyone again if I had been hurt in the Frank

 2010/5/11 14:25

Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean


I agree with TrueWitness, all my studying of the whole bible completely lead me to this exact same conclusion. However, I wonder why this verse (Luke 23:43) is the only verse ever that I hear people being concerned about the comma. Kind of weird. I have been told that the second wording as you put it means there is such thing as soul sleep. I have to say that the moving of a lacking comma is a weak thing to build a doctrine on, yet I am no scholar...however, it is probably the only verse where I have been exposed to a punctuation debate.

The only logical conclusion is the thief went with Christ to paradise in Abraham's bosom. This answers the riddle of the Psalmist claiming, "Thou shalt not leave my soul in hell, neither shall ye suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."

Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/5/11 14:30Profile

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